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The Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and the Free Hamburger

Story ID:10695
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Yuma Arizona USA
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The Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and the Free Hamburger
By Chuck Dishno

The spring of 1997, Roz and I had just finished my year as Governor of the Montana District of Kiwanis. We had spent most of the Kiwanis year traveling around Montana visiting the 46 Kiwanis clubs and needed a rest. Some friends from Dillon were spending the winter in Yuma, Arizona and we thought we might like to try a few weeks ourselves.

About the second week in January we made reservations for a week at the Desert Holiday R.V. Park in Yuma where our friends were staying. A few days later we hooked onto our 5th wheel trailer and headed for Yuma. Yuma was OK but too many people for us to feel comfortable but the weather was nice and we decided to reserve for 3 months the next year. When our week was up we decided to visit the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park about 60 miles from Winslow, Arizona. My brother Bud and his wife lived in Kingman, AZ so we invited them to join us at a R.V. Park in Winslow then go with us to the National Park.

I should explain that my two brothers, Shad and Bud were half-brothers from my Momís previous marriage. They were 12 and 10 years older than me with their last name, Meiser. What a difference there was between the two. Shad, the oldest was the spendthrift and spent of his money about as soon as he got any. He also smoked, drank and in general had a good time. Bud was just the opposite. He was very frugal with his money and was a fitness person. He was always telling Shad that smoking, drinking and eating white bread would take many years off his life. They were both great guys and I loved them equally. I guess I fell I between them and was more moderate.

We left the next morning and arrived at Winslow about noon. Bud and his wife, Beulah had arrived the day before and was waiting for us. We parked our rig next to Budís and spent a great evening. It was decided that the next morning we would load into my í83 Ford diesel club cab and visit the parks.

Early the next morning, after breakfast we headed out with me driving, Bud in the passenger seat with Beulah and Roz crammed into the small bench seat in the extended cab. I tried to tell Bud that it would be uncomfortable for the girls and we should take both vehicles. He argued that it would be much cheaper as only fuel would be used in one and the fee into the park would be covered by Rozís Golden Eagle Pass that we had purchased years before. How do you argue with a guy whose last name is Meiser?

Upon arriving at the parks we started the self guided tour thru, stopping to view all the petrified logs and gift shops in the visitor centers. It took several hours including a stop for lunch to get through the Petrified Forest part and we still had the Painted Desert to go which we were told is the most beautiful part.

After a leisurely lunch we started through the Painted Desert. By the looks of the map it would take several hours to thoroughly make the trip. When I made the announcement, I could tell something was bothering Bud. He kept looking at his watch and when I questioned him on his reaction he just said, he had to be back at our R.V. Park by 5pm. Thatís all I could get out of him but every half hour or so he would look at his watch and let out a big sigh. I didnít want to cut the trip short but the girls in the back were getting tired of climbing out of the cab at every stop so I relented and much to Budís relief we headed back. He still wouldnít say why it was so important that we get back by 5pm.

As soon as I pulled into the R.V. Park, Bud jumped out before I could get to our trailer spaces and headed for the office. I parked the truck in front of my rig and let the girls out. Beulah said she had no idea why Bud was so adamant about getting back but we soon found out.

About 20 minutes later, Bud came walking up to our spaces with the sorriest little hamburger in his hand that I had ever seen. The then confessed as to why we had to get back on time. Apparently when he registered the night before, they told him that if he decided to stay 2 nights, they would give him a free hamburger. Bud was a little upset that it was so small and was only a hamburger patty on a bun with no trimmings. He said he asked for a piece of cheese on it but when they told him it would cost .15 cents he declined. Then I asked him if he was going to get one for Beulah and he said, no but he would split his and share. I told him that Roz and I wanted one too but I would go over and get three so Beulah could have her own. I have to brag that the ones I got for us were complete with lettuce, pickles and a bag of chips. Bud wanted to share Beulahís chips but she wouldnít let him. Bully for you, Beulah!

I hope you donít think I am complaining about my brother. No, just the opposite. I loved my brother and was proud of him for sticking up for his last name Ė Hey, a Meiser is a Miser no matter how you spell it.

Both my brothers are gone now and I look forward to meeting up with them again in Heaven. I just hope that Bud didnít have to put a quarter in a turn style to get through the Pearly Gates. Iím sure that when St. Peter explained that the donation would be a tithe and it came with an ďeternity warrantyĒ, it was OK with Bud who was always looking for a bargain.

Bud always said he had to live up to his last name and loved stories about his being so tight. You gotta love him!